The Dynamics Behind Telit’s New CMO Pick, SAP’s Former VP Shawn Reynolds

By: James Brehm

In a surprising turn of events, Telit has brought SAP’s Shawn Reynolds onboard to act as its new CMO. In his new position, Reynolds will direct Telit’s global marketing strategy, manage brand awareness, and develop global programs for driving success of its IoT-related products and services. Jack Indekeu, Telit’s now-former CMO, has formally stepped down from his position and will remain in a reduced capacity to make sure that the transition occurs smoothly. Afterwards, he will move to the beach and spend his days surfing and generally living the life of a beach bum.

Although Reynolds was a key figure in the development of SAP’s go-to-market strategy and—as a former global VP and IoT marketing head—has accumulated an extensive amount of experience in executive-level and marketing leadership positions, Reynolds remains a surprising choice because his newly-previous company, SAP, is still establishing its IoT strategy.

If IoT were a playground—young and full of possibility—then SAP would be one of the lil ’un’s. In a young place, SAP is younger still. In the recent years that IoT began to mature, SAP noticed and formed the following goals several years ago: (1) to become a major seller of the “shovels & picks” of the data-and-services economy that will be built around IoT, (2) to become a major provider of the back-end infrastructure as-a-service needed to make M2M/IoT possible.

Outside of the IoT, SAP is a well-established market leader in enterprise applications and analytics software and a leading Cloud enterprise company, to boot. It’s the world’s third largest software company, and spanning dozens of industries internationally, had revenues totaling $23.7B in 2016. That’s 64 times Telit’s 2016 revenues which totaled $370M.

Telit isn’t small potatoes, either. Especially in the M2M/IoT space. One of the fastest growing M2M companies in the industry, Telit is also one of the world’s largest M2M module suppliers and is a global leader in IoT-enablement, offering a broad portfolio of products and services for customers. Currently transitioning from being a hardware-provider to being a solutions-provider, Telit takes a horizontal approach to maximize its presence in the IoT market and provides a one-stop-shop for modules, connectivity, and platforms for customers.

SAP and Telit are well-matched and have been collaborating for years on driving IoT-centered transformations. In May 2016, Telit and SAP announced a partnership to license and resell Telit’s deviceWISEIoT platform. With Telit’s connectivity management expertise and SAP’s HANA platform (which was first released in 2010) combined, the two companies expect to successfully operate across a variety of different verticals.

SAP’s and Telit’s being well-matched may not guarantee that Reynolds was made for this position, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.  In fact, the SAP-Telit partnership and Telit’s choice of Reynolds speaks to the IoT space, itself, in that it is just one connection among many likely and unlikely connections that are being formed between devices, ideas, corporations, and people. We are watching the ecosystem form--today. And as it takes and gives shape, equally, this is exactly what it looks like.

Questioned on his opinion of Telit, Reynolds responded optimistically saying that, together with their customers, Telit would be a reckonable force that would profoundly affect way the entire world lives, works, and plays. 

We agree, but remain curious to see how Reynolds handles his new position as CMO--a position that plants him decidedly deeper into the IoT-jungle. What will he grow and what fruit will it bear? Welcome to the Real IoT, Shawn!

How Did Small Cap Firms - Alarm.com, USA Technologies, MiX Telematics, & Control4 - Do Last Year & What Does That Mean to Us Today?

This latest issue of A Deeper Connected Conversation contains small cap firm company profiles, reviews of each firm's activities and business performance in 2016, and interpretations as to what their future prospects will be and what future outlooks they can expect to have. (Small cap firms are defined here as having a market cap < $2B.) 

Click HERE to read the full issue.

How Might Connected- & Autonomous-Vehicles in an ITS Change the Shape Future Roads Take?

By: Consuelo Azuaje

At this year’s Enterprise IoT Summit, Dave Sparks revealed how transportation and logistics will change as M2M and IoT technologies become steadily more integrated into our road-infrastructure and lead us—inevitably—to an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS). A Senior Research Scientist at Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute, Sparks believes the majority of today’s transportation issues—fundamentally concerned with either safety or mobility—could be solved in the future by an ITS. A future ITS will include both connected vehicles (CVs) and automated vehicles (AVs) and will possess the potential to improve traffic safety and automate traffic law enforcement. Ultimately, that would produce savings at multiple levels of government and free governmental branches to focus resources on other demands.

According to Sparks, there are two types of players in the transportation ecosystem. Primary players are motorists, vehicles themselves, and road-infrastructure owners (on-road), while secondary players are insurance and construction companies involved in concomitant transportation operations (enabling and support, behind-the-scenes).

Sparks also maintains that the six key areas of CVs and AVs in the future ITS will be:

(1)    Policy Regulations & Public Awareness—In the future of ITS, policy regulations will have to change along with the morphing/evolving transportation landscape. For example: as AVs and CVs become increasingly popular on the road, so, too, will the practice of platooning AVs and CVs used for transport into fleets with one lead driver. Such a drastic change in they way we transport goods might very well lead to new regulations regarding lane use, making the left lane exclusive to platooned fleets of rubber-tired transport.

(2)    In-Vehicle Systems—Perhaps set to Moore’s furious drumbeat, emerging technologies used for in-vehicle systems (e.g. sensors, communications) have marched forward at a breathless rate. The tools future engineers and have in their kit will do more than shape the architecture of a future ITS—they will furnish it.

(3)    Communications and Data Sharing—These technologies include vehicle-to-everything (V2X), dedicated short range communications (DSRC), and cellular emerging technologies (especially 5G).

(4)    Road Readiness—Having been developed around human driver behavior to prioritize human safety, road readiness standards necessarily inform road design and construction and literally define our road landscape. Today, the road is occupied almost exclusively by human drivers, but in due time, as more and more AVs and CVs begin to enter the the landscape, those standards will have to undergo adjustment. For example: the standard driving lane width today (12 feet) nearly doubles the average width of an SUV (6.5 feet); while that kind of breadth might well suit the average width of a commercial vehicle (8.5 feet), the overwhelming majority of vehicles on the road today are passenger, not commercial, vehicles. Driving lanes have been designed to be this wide to accommodate for drivers and their distinctly human tendency to “drift” while on the road. Because they wouldn’t drift anywhere nearly as much as we do, AVs won’t require as much lane space and so a future road landscape where AVs dominate would likely feature much narrower lanes.

(5)    Standards—They are and will continue to be necessary because they give different professionals in the market shared expectations when discussing and negotiating technology development and implementation.

(6)    Procurement—This is a time-consuming process for road-infrastructure owners (which are typically local and state government agencies. Encumbered by layers of unnecessary bureaucracy, it’s not unusual for road-infrastructure technology development to outpace the procurement process at such a rate that project quality is often risked to obsolescence by Moore’s Law. There’s still a bunch of work that needs to be done in this space to expedite the procurement process.

How will M2M/IoT fit into a future transportation landscape governed by an ITS? Although, traffic management systems have traditionally used SCADA to collect data (e.g. traffic flow), new M2M/IoT technologies applications are becoming increasingly prevalent and vastly improving data collection. The universal question asked in this space is: what is the return on this investment? The answer: vastly improved data collection has already begun to translate to increased revenues via improved toll fee and parking fine collection, improved traffic flow for emergency vehicles and passenger vehicles, alike, as well as more effective parking law enforcement.

Numerex and STE Partner up, Land Multi-Year Asset Tracking Deal with FEMA

By: Consuelo Azuaje

Finally!  Some good news on Numerex.  After more than a year of declining revenues, senior management turnover, and problems refinancing its debt obligations, the Atlanta-based company has announced a significant and meaningful win. On March 31, 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) jointly granted partners IT services-provider Software Tech Enterprises (STE) and Numerex a multi-year asset tracking deal.

With their strengths combined Numerex and STE will be able to provide satellite tracking systems to FEMA, enabling the government agency to maintain real-time visibility of tens of thousands of critical pieces of in-field, disaster-relief equipment and materials when cellular connectivity is compromised. Empowering FEMA to maintain real-time asset tracking would make the agency more effective at preserving human life in times of crisis.

Numerex believes that the multi-year agreement with FEMA and its ongoing partnership with STE will open the door for future growth opportunities into Other Federal Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, other local government agencies—such as state government—and even the private sector.

When asked for thoughts on the deal, Numerex’s Enterprise IoT-VP, Marc Hoffman, had this to say: “[We] are pleased to maintain this highly successful program in partnership with STE with the critical mission of providing vital supply chain visibility to FEMA and other emergency response stakeholders. Our platforms and technologies are optimized to perform reliably in the most challenging disaster environments and we are proud to support our nation’s first responders.”

STE President and CEO, Dwayne Jackson said that he felt their teams’ “unique systems expertise and extensive experience managing government technology services enable this best of class asset tracking program. We are excited about working Numerex and look forward to expanding our partnership in the future.”

While the agreement with FEMA is a step in the right direction, Numerex needs to demonstrate that it is reemerging as a serious contender to win these types of deals that deliver complex and critical IoT solutions to the market.  The FEMA deal should help to improve the company’s battered marketplace perception and prove that its strategy to address financial and operational challenges is working and moving the company forward.

And Now for a Series of Important (and Absolutely Not Fabricated) News Items:

By: James Brehm

Ever since President Donald Trump was elected, the business and the markets have reacted favorably with increased hiring, talk of accelerated investment, and significant stock market gains.  While one would normally expect good things when a Republican administration arrives in Washington, no one would expect the kind of activity we’ve seen over the past weekend.

Saturday saw several major announcements occurred in the IoT space, with significant partnerships and M&A from a handful of conglomerates leading the way.

Largest IoT Merger of All Time

First, in one of the largest acquisitions of all time, mega-conglomerate Stark Enterprises offered $85.4 trillion for the autonomous vehicle/flying car company Spacely Sprockets. In an effort to add connected car capabilities to an IoT portfolio that specializes in vertical solutions for government, defense, manufacturing, retail, hospitality and transportation, Stark Industries is now among the largestcompanies providing systems integration, robotics, connected vehicle, homeland security and advanced warfare solutions.

According to reports, the most desirable acquisition targets are companies whose core competencies revolve around analytics, security, connectivity platform capabilities and services, and this almost perfectly describes Stark Industries assets.

While regulation may be an issue, Stark, a defense near-monopoly badly wants to accelerate its metamorphosis to IoT enabler with one of its biggest deals ever has put together an army of roughly 100 lobbyists to support the deal, and has outspent the next 3 lobbying organizations nearly 2 to 1.

“As Larry the Cable Guy says, we need to git-r-dun,” said Stark COO Pepper Potts. “Spacely’s platform will power more than cars, it will also drive the next generation of Iron Man suits.”

“Spacely Sprockets IoT and vehicle solutions are built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and help government agencies and enterprises integrate into their back office systems to easily track their products, capture data and improve profitability,” said Spacely controller George Jetson, who will serve as Stark CFO reporting to CEO Tony Stark after the merger.

The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approval and is expected to be accretive in 4Q.

Wayne Enterprises selected by Slate for Gold Mining Operation

Slate Rock and Gravel company has selected Wayne Enterprises for heavy equipment tracking solutions which combine multi-network connectivity, ruggedized telematics devices and Wayne Enterprises’ leading edge platform and applications to support its mining and transportation fleets.

Barney Rubble, who was promoted this week to chief IoT officer of Slate by COO Fred Flintstone announced Saturday a $13 billion dollar investment in IoT and big data, after the company was selected to participate on the next season of Alaska Gold Mining.

“The IoT is removing mundane repetitive tasks or creating things that just weren’t possible before, enabling more people to do more rewarding tasks. And the promotion of my best friend Barney Rubble from Stegosaurus operator to our head of innovation and IoT is just the first step in our business transformation,” said Flintstone.

There was no comment from Wayne Enterprises’ CEO Bruce Wayne.

ACME PoP

Everyone seems to want In on the IoT, as small businesses everywhere are diversifying their offerings and launching services - including gateways, sensors, connectivity solutions, and data collection and analysis services. As the IoT promises to be one of the most lucrative markets in history and vendors are quickly realizing the opportunities they can reap from this space.

ACME Corporation, makers of Tornado seeds, giant magnets, dynamite, rocket-powered roller skates, anvils, and giant rubber bands has recently launched  AUPoP, the ACME Universal IoT Platform of Platforms.  

“One of the myths about the Internet of Things is that companies have too much data… but with the ACME Universal Platform of Platforms, companies will be able to capture all the data they need and a single platform to use that data,” said ACME CEO Wile E Coyote.  “And ACME UPoP will surely help us stop that pesky Roadrunner,”

 

Happy (Belated) April Fools Day!

IoT 4Q Performance Analysis

Our latest Issue of the Deeper Connected Conversation provides an in-depth analysis of how well  public, IoT companies' performed in 4Q 2016 and in the whole of last year, in general. To learn more about IoT performance as well as future plans different Telco companies have (e.g. mergers, acquisitions, etc.), read our latest newsletter by clicking HERE.
For more information, please contact us at info@jbrehm.com.

 

Software AG Acquires Cumulocity (700 Platforms Left)

By: James Brehm

Another large enterprise software company shored up its IoT solution set yesterday as Software AG announced the acquisition of application enablement platform Cumulocity over the weekend.

Cumulocity, a company that’d begun its life as a group within Nokia Siemens Networks as a cloud-based solution for M2M application and device management, was spun out in 2011. After a few years of consistent growth and partnership development, the past year has seen exponential revenue growth.

The merger was a logical next step for a partnership that had begun in 2015 between the two companies, and gave Software AG enterprise customers the ability to integrate IT applications with operational technology solutions– increasing business value.

With nearly all of the tools necessary to support end to end solution development, it will be interesting to see what Software AG does next. 

The New Sharing Economy May Begin With U� (Uber, that is)

By: James Brehm

Over the past few years, there’s been talk in the industry that IoT-based car sharing services would be the end of the US automobile market. Many pundits believe that the growth of bicycle sharing in cities proves the case for car sharing. While services like Zipcar, Car2Go, and Enterprise CarShare are steadily growing services and garnering most of the press, auto OEMs, telematics providers and mobile network operators such as Verizon have been working on solutions to enable car sharing in every day passenger vehicles.

With the rise of the millennial generation, a new mindset about consumerism has been established. Sharing and getting a bargain are now perceived as cool, and ownership is not just about status anymore.

A recent poll conducted by Airbnb found that 67% of Americans have a favorable impression of it and fellow sharing economy services like Uber and Lyft. Support among millennials was even higher with nearly three-quarters saying they had a positive view of the industry.

Digitally controlled locks, video surveillance cameras in the home, automated learning thermostats, and vehicle telematics make the sharing of goods and services via the cloud almost second nature to millennials who are the first generation that has always been internet connected.

Millennials, people who were born from 1982 to 2004, are the largest generation in U.S. history, making up 83.1 million of the nation’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And while millennials appear to gravitate to ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft more than their elder peers, a question lingers on whether or not millennial attraction to sharing means not buying, or just smarter usage of resources. Will portions of the economy die or will there just be new rules for money and new spending and consumption behaviors?

In examining usage, instead of replacing the everyday vehicle, millennials tend to use Uber and Lyft for specific reasons like going out for the evening or attending events where parking and traffic can be problematic. Usage is highest during business hours during the week or evenings on the weekend. For younger drivers, Uber is replacing cabs, not cars.

Recent statistics on automobile sales appear to refute the notion that millennials will give up car ownership altogether. Statistics from 2016 show that for the 3rd year in a row, millennials purchased more cars than Generation X, according to J.D. Power & Associates.

What’s more, Uber helps its drivers with vehicle acquisition-whether it’s through buying services, leasing or underwriting automobile loans. Where else can you apply for an auto loan and a job, and get both with no experience necessary?

This leads me to ask a few different questions:

If car sharing and ridesharing is not disrupting the automobile industry, is it fueling new car sales? Could the Ubers of the world be funding new vehicle purchases for drivers in the same way that “company cars” did so in the 60’s and 70’s?

Is the sharing economy less about disrupting industries and more about efficient utilization of assets?

Reprinted by permission of IoT Evolution

ZTE and Intel Collaborate to Produce World's First SDN/NFV 5G RAN Solution

By: Consuelo Azuaje

Last week, ZTE and Intel announced the launch of the latest product of their collaborative efforts—the world’s first SDN/NFV virtualization-based 5G RAN solution. For years, 5G’s imminent deployment data (2020) and only ever-soaring network demands have been making it increasingly expedient that MNOs branch away from their traditional approach to scaling up networks. MNOs’ traditional approach to expanding scale has been to increase hardware. The problem with that, however, is that increasing hardware comes at the price of increased energy consumption and increased hardware and maintenance complexity.

The SDN and NFV virtualization technologies designed into ZTE’s and Intel’s 5G RAN solution make it compatible with 2G, 3G, 4G, and pre-5G systems and enables it to support cloud-RAN (C-RAN), distributed-RAN (D-RAN), and 5G central and distributed units (CU/DU). This kind of versatility makes for a large amount developmental potential, as well as, potential to for broader application, ergo, saved resources. The solution is based off of Intel architecture (a new generation of Modular Baseband Processing Platform, in fact) which possesses large data capacity, high-integration, multi-mode flexible networking features, and the potential to reduce energy consumption via sophisticated algorithms. The solution would support vertical businesses, multi-scene flexible deployment, and 4G/5G hybrid networks to effectively protect operator investment.

Both ZTE and Intel have expressed a large amount of optimism in their solution. According to Jianguo Zhang, senior VP of ZTE: “cooperation…will deliver a simpler, more flexible, open network to telcom operators and bring bigger value to users.”

Intel’s corporate VP, Sandra Rivera, also said: “we see Communications Service Providers quickly adopting SDN/NFV technologies as the foundation for 5G networks…our goal with ZTE is to accelerate commercial cloud-ready 5G network solutions. By using the latest Intel architecture processors.” “[At] the intelligent edge,” Rivera continued, “ZTE has demonstrated that this network transformation can be realized for 5 network requirements, including ultra-low latency, very high bandwidth, and expanded capacity.”

ZTE and Intel’s collaboration is just one of many recent examples of coopetition acting as the most effective vehicle to progress.

The future of IoT will be realized by much more than a massive number of connected machines. It will also be realized by the rich creative power of collaboration and sharing of ideas. Not any single one of us can fully predict what the future of IoT will be. But there is one thing that we can know, and that is that when the dust finally settles and IoT achieves greater maturity, the state of IoT will be one we co-created.